Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Book Review - Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy

Why did I read this series?

This series came highly recommended from Anna as fantasy that didn't suffer from the Tolkien curse. You know that curse. The one where all you can do is throw elves, dwarfs, and humans into some quest. Not to say that some books that have the Tolkien curse (or the smaller D&D curse) aren't good (I think about Salvatore here), but sometimes it is good to read a trilogy with some new worlds and ideas.

What's it about

In the kingdom of the Six Duchies the bastard son of the prince is trained to be an assassin. After his training he goes into service for his king uncovering plots among the royalty. In the meantime the kingdom is also being attacked from the sea by forces that kill or drive mad all in their path.

Throughout the three novels, Fitz, the main character becomes embroiled in the plots around him as he finds out that a royal bastard has no life, but service to his king.

Why you should read it

Hobb is a brilliant story teller who handles a complex narrative very well. The story has rich characters and a harsh world that is both gritty and beautiful. Because the work is a trilogy, Hobb has the time to lay out the stories at a pace that can be at one moment intimate and at others sweeping.

Are there any problems?

The only small problem I had with the series was that some of the books were a little too long. Each book clocks in between 600-800 pages Book 3: Assassin's Quest in particular could have lost 100 pages and would have been a more concise and enjoyable read.


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